Friday, July 12, 2013

The Epic European Trip

As you may or may not know, I've just returned from a three week trip to Europe with the whole family! A couple of years ago we drove across the country and called it The Big Trip. Well, this latest trip we  are now calling The Epic Trip! My daughter went to Spain in April for a study abroad program, and so we decided when she was done we would pick her up and travel around with her a bit before all coming back to real life.

So that's what we did! It was crazy, and fun, and stressful, and exhausting and thrilling and.... all of it. We saw a bit of Madrid, then three days in Barcelona, four days in San Sebastian (we have a friend there that we visited), six days in Paris and then four more days in London. Whew! It flew by much much too fast and feels all like a blur now. But hopefully we created a some memories and showed our kids a little bit of the world.

We tried a new thing this trip and that was to rent and stay in local apartments instead of hotels. We used a website many of you have probably heard of, but it was all new to us... Anyway, this made for quite the different experience, and it was so fun! Much more affordable for our big(ish) family than hotels, and fun to be right in the local neighborhood, shopping for breakfast groceries at the local market, coming home at night with the local people. Awesome. There were, however, some things I missed (not necessarily from hotels, but just from home) which I'll post about later, just because I find those things to be quite interesting.

Anyway, here's a few (but probably too many!) pictures of the adventure and some of the places we stayed:

This is just after we meet up with the daughter who had been in Spain for 6 weeks already.

We rode a lot of trains. I loved it.
(Except for the metros/tubes, I got really sick of those!)

Wading in the Mediterranean Sea in Barcelona.

A view of the famous beach in San Sebastian

With our friend Ane, in San Sebastian

Walking walking walking, always walking!

The view out our balcony window in Madrid.

The view down the street where we stayed in Barcelona.
Paris as seen from from the towers of Notre Dame

The Eiffel Tower is awesome at night.

A cool sun shot of the London Eye

And another cool sun shot of Big Ben

The house were we stayed in London, near Wimbledon
The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

Just some of the stuff Ane's mom fed us

The family at Notre Dame

Love this shot of the Louvre Pyramid at sunset

The Tour Eiffel!

You all know what the Mona Lisa looks like,
but did you know what the crowd observing her looks like?

The beautiful gardens at Versailles.
So clean and pristine that my son thought it looked like a fake backdrop for a movie

The catacombs in Paris, where they've moved tons of skeletons form graveyards
and have done artwork with them.

More Eiffel Tower!
(A rare "whole family" picture.)
Sunset over Paris from the top of the tower.
(Wait, not the top! The second level. We didn't go to the top.)
Well anyway. I guess that gives a little feel of what I've been up to the last three weeks! It's good, sad and a bit weird to be home!


  1. Welcome back home and that looks like an amazing trip.

  2. Looks like you had a fabulous trip. I'm so jealous! Thanks for sharing a little of the fun with us :)

  3. Jealous. looks like it was a wonderful BIG TRIP.

  4. What a wonderful adventure. Renting an apartment sounds like a great idea for a family. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Ann: Yes, the apartments were awesome. So glad we found that option.

  5. Great pictures! It looks like you had a blast in Europe! We went there a few years ago with our toddler and he screamed his head off in the Mona Lisa room and no one could tell. The crowds there are crazy! I loved Versailles. The Queen's Hamlet was my favorite place there. I've never been anywhere so quiet. The house you stayed at in London is so unbelievably charming.

    1. Jessica: We didn't quite make to the Hamlet before it closed, dang. We tried, and got lost in the gardens!

  6. Wow. What an amazing trip! I bet it was fun staying in Wimbledon, though I know it's a little far out from central London. My husband and I lived near Fulham Broadway on the District line (?) I don't know if that's right since it's been awhile. I've never been to Spain, though! Completely jealous that you got to see Gaudi in person. I would love to see the Sagrada Familia. Thanks for sharing your trip with us. :)

    1. Holly: Yes, we passed the Fulham Broadway stop both coming and going every day! Cool. I didn't know you lived in England. The Gaudi stuff was pretty amazing.

  7. Amazing... I wish I wasn't afraid of flying!!

    1. Anxious: Flying isn't my favorite either, but I did pretty well this trip! I didn't panic once! (Well, while flying anyway!) Maybe I'm getting a little over it in my old age...

  8. this is so awesome...and certainly epic. I am curious for more about staying in the apartments rather than the hotels. Usually when we travel we only stay a night or two in a city (we see a lot but it IS exhausting), but I love the idea of a home away from home for longer stays. Barcelona is really high on my to-visit list but Scott has no interest in Spain. I feel like I'll end up spending my entire life convincing him!

    Glad you guys had such a great time. Your kiddos will love looking back at this time!

    1. Trish: I hope you make to Barcelona one day. My oldest son keeps saying that was his favorite part of the trip.

  9. SO JEALOUS!! Sounds like an absolutely amazing trip. I went to Barcelona a few years ago and your pics make me miss it SO MUCH. Love that city.
    Also, your pic of the crowd at the Mona Lisa reminds me of when I visited the Sistine Chapel. You see so many pictures of that beautiful mural, but never pictures of the mob scene underneath it! haha.

    1. Kelly: The mobs around these famous things are fascinating I think. I am surprised, however, that not more people go to the British Library to see some of the written word famous things... there was hardly anyone there.

  10. Meh, looks fairly mediocre. ;)I still have a dream of going to Europe with you, now that would be epic! But I also have a dream of living in Kent... or Sussex... (you know how jealous I truly am)

  11. Finally catching up on my blog reading. Your trip looks AMAZING!!! I'm so glad you had a great time. Travel is exhausting, but the memories are so worth it. Thanks for sharing your trip!

  12. Wow!! It looks like you had an amazing time!!! LOVE all these pictures!!!



Related Posts with Thumbnails